Alabama chief justice criticizes same-sex marriage ruling

Roy Moore

Roy Moore AP

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he’s concerned that the recognition of same-sex marriages will lead to the recognition of marriages with multiple partners or marriages within a family.

Roy MooreAP

Roy Moore

Moore spoke out Tuesday after sending a letter to the governor saying a ruling by a federal judge in favor of a same-sex couple in Mobile is not binding on Alabama’s probate judges.

He says he’s encouraged by the Alabama Probate Judges Association advising probate judges to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lifting the ban could lead to “marriages between multiple groups of people, whether they be men or women, or marriages within a family — incest,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of things that could occur because of this.”

Moore wrote that “the laws of this state have always recognized the Biblical” definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

Moore was removed as chief justice in 2003 when he ignored a court order to remove a Ten Commandment monument from the state judicial building. He was re-elected in 2012.

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Richard Cohen, the head of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, called Moore’s letter “outrageous.”

“Once before he defied a federal court and used his religion to do it. Looks like he’s doing it again. He brings dishonor and shame to the court,” Cohen said.

Last February, Moore wrote letters to all 50 governors to try to get states to push for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

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